Stuffed Pepper Appetizers
Makes about 2 cups filling. Recipe is by Corinne Cook. Use this filling to stuff small pepper halves or for party bread open face sandwiches.
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage (I used the hot variety)
1⁄3 cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese (use low-fat if desired), cubed
2 tbls. chopped green onions
2 tbls. chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp. filé powder, optional
Salt and pepper, if desired
Small pepper halves or thin-sliced party bread
Pimento for garnish, optional
1. In medium skillet, brown sausage until no longer pink, drain. Add onions, celery, garlic and cook over low heat until vegetables are tender.
2. Add cream cheese cubes, green onions, parsley and filé powder. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and add if necessary.
3. Clean peppers, removing seeds and membranes. I immersed cleaned peppers in boiling water for 1 minute to blanche then immediately cooled in cold water. Drain well.
4. Place small amount of filling in pepper halves and place on baking sheet.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and raise the oven rack to second position from the top; not the highest but second level. Bake peppers until filling is hot and edges of peppers are beginning to brown, about 15 minutes but watch carefully; you want them heated through and slightly cooked but not soft. Cooking time depends on the size of the peppers used. Once cooked, each pepper half can be garnished with small piece of pimento if desired.
6. Leftover filling can be spread over other vegetables or on top of party rye bread for hot, open-face sandwiches.